What is Thai massage like?
Let's address your first real question before we discuss the details of Thai massage. Do you have to get naked? No. Thai massage happens fully clothed. Now, let's move on to what the experience is like and why you shouldn't be missing out.
Thai massage is a combination of muscle compression, mobilization of joints, and acupressure. It's a very different experience from most massages, and it comes across like an assisted yoga session.
Does Thai massage hurt?
Not really. Even with a normal massage, there is an element of "good" pain when the practitioner massages a very tight muscle. Of course, when that transitions over into genuine pain, you should speak up. It's the same for Thai massage.
Your Thai massage practitioner will perform a series of movements and stretches. How far you are stretched depends on your flexibility and desired intensity. It shouldn't hurt, and if it does, you should say something.
The muscle compression is quite relaxing and satisfying in a unique way. Just like a weighted blanket, muscle compression stimulates a "deep touch pressure" response. This is extremely calming for the body, particularly for your sensory system. It's a type of touch we don't normally receive, and some people are really starved for it.
Do you have to be flexible?
Anyone can enjoy Thai massage. You don't have to be particularly flexible. In fact, regular sessions should increase your flexibility and range of motion. Your practitioner will detect the proper amount of tension and not push you beyond that. This is about bettering yourself, not about impressing anyone.
The stretches take little effort on your part. This is called passive stretching. The point is for you to maintain a relaxed state while your practitioner takes the lead.
You may be surprised by popping sounds that indicate adjustments are happening. Up the spine and around the hips commonly pop, offering a feeling of relief. This is similar to a chiropractic adjustment, but it's never forced.
Should you try Thai massage?
Most likely that answer is yes. Unless you have a condition, such as cancer, that may need to be considered, you are probably a good candidate. Be open with your practitioner about past or current injuries, illness, and range of motion. Your experience will depend on your communication.
Thai massage offers a unique and impactful experience.